It’s been made very clear that the Republican Establishment does not want Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, or Rick Santorum to win. They do not believe that any of them have a chance of winning against President Obama in November and have decided to back Mitt Romney as the moderate choice in hopes of not blowing another election.
Wins tonight for Santorum haven’t changed that. You can see already hear the media downplaying these wins as “beauty contests” and “glorified straw polls”. The same media said the Iowa caucus was a big win for Romney, then changed tunes once Santorum was declared the winner, dubbing the Iowa caucus as an afterthought. The reason: the Republican Establishment doesn’t want someone like Santorum going into November.
Their choices have been failing for decades. The same thinking put John McCain up against Obama 4 years ago. It put George W. Bush in office for 8 years because of weak opponents rather than because of strong leadership (Al Gore would have won had he taken a shot in 2004 instead of John Kerry – he peaked too late to win 2000).
The Republican Establishment put Bob Dole up against Bill Clinton in 1996. George H.W. Bush was not their choice but they didn’t have a choice in the matter. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was not their choice and is arguably the last effective Republican President despite going against what the Republican Establishment believed.
Who are these people? Are they really so against their own party that they are willing to push their hand-picked candidate into a position of failure every 4 years?
Mitt Romney has two major problems as a candidate. He has proven to be a shrewd business person. 20 years ago, even a decade ago, this was a good quality. In today’s atmosphere, it would be easier to get a Washington insider elected than a Wall Street insider, which is exactly how people view Romney.
His taxes aren’t helping, raising new questions about his use of offshore tax shelters.
Moderates have always had a hard time winning. George W. Bush was the exception, but for a reason. In 2000, he sounded like a true conservative. On foreign affairs, he was. Had there not been a war on terror, his failed, moderate fiscal policies would have tanked his chances of re-election. John Kerry was too weak and the American people were too scared to make a change.
Today, they’re not too scared to make a change, but they will not change to someone who is perceived to be on the wrong side. Barack Obama is a “roll up your sleeves” kind of President and while his policies have not yielded as much fruit as most expected, the people would rather give him the opportunity to continue in his direction rather than hand the country over to someone they simply cannot trust.
People on both extreme sides of the fence are fighting with Obama. The Tea Party hates his policies. The Occupy Movement doesn’t believe he’s liberal enough. For all of the negatives that have hit the country the last 12 years, the moderates are still going to choose to stay the course with Obama in November if the other choice is Romney.
The Republican Establishment has been wrong about candidates for decades, but they’ve never been this wrong. Any of the other 3 GOP candidates would have a better shot against Obama in November than Romney. What the other 3 candidates failed to capitalize on is the very thing that Obama’s team will highlight over and over (and over) again, that Romney is in an elite class and has no connection with the majority of America on any level.
We haven’t heard it much during the campaigns by the GOP, but Obama will hammer one thing into people: Mitt Romney can casually offer to bet what equates to 3-months wages for the average American. $10,000. It’s chump change to Mitt Romney, making Romney the chump in the #OccupyAmerica atmosphere that we’re in. It doesn’t ring well for conservatives, liberals hate it, and moderates will be turned off completely by it.
If nominated, that one moment will be enough to put Obama in the White House until 2016.